Avera Medical Minute: Laborists Program - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute: Laborists Program

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RN Tamera Larsen-Engelkes checks over Laurie Ellefson who is having her 3rd child. RN Tamera Larsen-Engelkes checks over Laurie Ellefson who is having her 3rd child.

A lot more expecting moms are comforted knowing there is always an Obstetrician on hand at Avera McKennan in case any complications arise.

Mother of two, soon to be three, Laurie Ellefson from Tyler, Minnesota is going to have a baby on the day we saw her in the hospital. The baby is coming three weeks earlier than expected. She's been induced and is playing the waiting game. Thankfully if any complications arise there is an OB/GYN standing by at the hospital as part of Avera McKennan's Laborist Program.

Dr. Kimberlee McKay is an OB/GYN at the main McGreevy Clinic Avera, but once a week she spends 24 hours straight at Avera McKennan as one of the 9 laborists on staff. She says, "In March, we put someone in the hospital who was immediately available 24 hours a day. We don't leave the hospital. We don't go to Taco Johns for lunch. We stay here and attend to the needs of patients in labor and delivery."

Registered Nurse and Nurse Manager of the Avera Women's Center Tamera Larsen-Engelkes says, "Having a laborist here and available to us in a moment of crisis is so important. I can't even speak to the volume of safety it provides. The safety net for the nursing staff to have them here."

Laurie can still have her regular OB/GYN in the delivery room, but since she is in early labor it's a great reassurance to her and her family to know an OB/GYN is just down the hall either at the nurse's station or in the doctor's lounge where they have patient monitors in both locations.

Tamera says, "In the past if a baby wasn't looking so good on the monitor or we were concerned about the mother or the baby's heart tones we would page a doctor who was generally in their clinic or at home sleeping at night. We would have to wait for the physician to come in and evaluate the situation before we could move forward. Having a laborist here has meant such an urgency and time difference. At Avera McKennan our mission is healthy moms, healthy babies. Laborists speak to that and the outcome has been great."

Tamera, her staff and Laurie are glad that day is gone. For one, babies don't always wait for a doctor to arrive and thankfully now at Avera McKennan they don't have to.  

Congratulations to proud parents Laurie and Dan Ellefson! 7 hours after we saw her in the hospital, she gave birth to Dru Eva. She weighed 6 lbs. 4 oz. and 19 inches long.  Big Brother Luke and Big Sister Kyah are very excited to welcome her to the family.


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